Leisure

Facebook has gotten all the bad publicity anybody could ever want over their intrusive "Beacon"  marketing/advertising/information gathering widget. On top of everything else, researchers have discovered that despite Facebook's modification of their permission settings, Facebook is still collecting information about all your  purchases at retailers participating in the program, even if you are not logged on to Facebook. "When a Facebook user takes a Beacon-enabled action on a participating site, information is sent to Facebook in order for Facebook to operate Beacon technologically. If... Read more...
Some users of online community Facebook are complaining that  Facebook's latest marketing widget, called Beacon,  allows other users to see what you're buying online from vendors participating in the program. They feel it's an invasion of their privacy. You're allowed to opt out of the process,  and given two opportunities to do so for each automatic listing, but there doesn't seem to be any way to opt out of the program entirely. The idea is that if users see a friend buy or do something, they'd take that action as an endorsement for a movie, a band or a soft drink.But it also raises... Read more...
The stereotype is that geeks can't dress themselves, or rather, that they can't dress stylishly.  Technology is here to help them get past that minor obstacle.If you've ever stood in front of your closet trying to figure out what to wear for an important meeting, a new high-tech wardrobe invention might be just the thing for you.The "smart wardrobe" keeps track of when you wore an item, where you wore it, and can even tell you when your clothes need to be dry-cleaned.If you're not sure what tie matches your suit, if your skirt is too tame for your new animal print pumps, or whether you should... Read more...
Just about everybody has heard some sort of interesting search-related fact that has to do with pornography on the Internet.  First it was that searches for Jesus Christ came up with less results than the word porn on Google.  Then it became a big deal to be 'bigger than porn' when it came to Google hits.But the number of search results doesn't accurately depict the number of searches on a subject, just the volume of related material.  So who's 'bigger than porn' this week?  According to Hitwise it's none other than Facebook, at least with one of its key demographics:"Perhaps... Read more...
A recent survey indicated that as many as 25% of people would be happy left all alone, as long as it was in cyberspace.Conducted by Zogby International, a polling firm in Utica, N.Y., the survey questions were e-mailed to a scientifically selected sample of nearly 9,800 U.S. adults, who offered precise feedback to not-so-burning questions like, "Can the Internet serve as a substitute for a significant other?" To that question, 24 percent answered "Yes." Apparently, a good broadband connection and all the possibilities it opens up would compensate for not having a companion who might, after all,... Read more...
Microsoft actually managed to beat Google at an acquisition, or rather, in this case, a partial stake in a company.  Google had also been rumored to have been pursuing a minority stake in Facebook.The final deal resulted in a 1.6 percent stake in the social-networking company, notably smaller than the 5 to 10 percent that had been talked about in recent weeks. "We are pleased to take our Microsoft partnership to the next level," Owen Van Natta, vice president of operations and chief revenue officer at Facebook, said in a statement. "We think this expanded relationship will allow Facebook to... Read more...
As enthusiasts, we're always looking for the next great design in computer cases. We're eager to see companies innovate in various areas of design, including cooling, tool-less installation, and style. When we see a new case hit the market, we often hope that it is made of aluminum, includes quiet 120mm or larger fans, and is easy to work in. We like aluminum because it usually looks good and is typically lightweight. We prefer the convenience of tool-less installation features because we are frequently swapping out parts. We happen to have a new case in the labs that meets some of these... Read more...
Today, October 8, at 8:00AM Pacific Time, Intel launched a new Web 2.0-inspired Web site. Similar to Digg, it offers a forum where people can submit and vote for their favorite software company or product.You can go to the site, register, set up an account and start submitting stories, sites, etc. They are most interested in software companies, but they are also interested in technologies in general. The site has the following categories: Digital Home, Mobility, Enterprise, and Healthcare which are, of course, the same as the various “platforms” Intel supports. There’s also an Other category, naturally.... Read more...
MTV is launching a social network, which makes sense, given the youth of its audience.  What's different about this social network is its focus on activism. The site, Think.MTV.com, is designed to be a resource for social and political issues, aiming to inform as well as let users connect with other like-minded people on issues from the environment to sexual health and discrimination. It will let users create pages, as on other online social networks Facebook and MySpace, and upload photos and videos, some of which may be aired on... Read more...
Are you ready to social network, Yahoo-style? On Friday Yahoo! started sending out invitations to Mash, its beta social networking site. Note that you will need an invitation to mash with the rest of us. Mash is different from other social networks in that you can start profiles for your friends and "open" your own profile to friends you trust, according to the Mash blog. What that means, exactly, is still a bit unclear. You can also reportedly customize your profile or friends' profiles with other apps, ala Facebook. "One last note before you jump in: Mash... Read more...
A short while after Dell purchased Alienware late last year, news broke that Hewlett Packard had acquired boutique system vendor Voodoo PC.  Voodoo PC is best known for their high performance gaming PC's that feature custom cases, some with lavish paint jobs, unique cooling solutions, and impeccable wiring jobs. We evaluated a Voodoo Omen some time back and found it to be an excellent product.  If you check out the Omen, you'll see why HP was interested in Voodoo. After HP's acquisition of Voodoo PC, many speculated that the company's entrance into the high-end gaming PC market... Read more...
There has been much concern over the security and privacy of social networking sites.  Much of the flak has been directed at the sites themselves.  But a study run by security company Sophos showed, once again, that the real security hole, lies in users.By creating a  fake ID around a green frog name "Freddi Staur" (which is an anagram of ID Fraudster), and inviting 200 real users to be its friend, Sophos showed just how easy it is to get private info. Without any "hacking" whatsoever, the tub toy managed to acquire a treasure trove of personal data. About 73 people were willing to... Read more...
It's called social networking iTunes-style.  Today Apple unveiled web widgets designed to facilitate social networking between iTunes users.  It allows customers to share their purchases, reviews, and favorite artists. Called My iTunes, the service includes three flash-based widgets that use a customers account information to create customized lists of music based on that users purchase history. The widgets can be placed on a user's blog, Web site, or social networking profile.Three widgets are currently available: the first lists recent purchases; the second shows music that the user has... Read more...
The TIGTA (Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration) has recently run a survey of the IRS to determine how well the agency would respond to a little old fashioned social engineering.TIGTA callers posed as helpdesk representatives and requested assistance changing a password.  The results are quite surprising: “In 61 of 102 cases, the TIGTA caller was able to convince an IRS employee to change his or her password as requested. Furthermore, only eight of the 102 IRS employees contacted actually contacted the audit team, the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration Office of Investigations,... Read more...
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